Another day, another hour closer to Miami Hurricanes football. While defensive lineman Ryan Fines is the current holder of #94, let’s take a look at some of the greatest Hurricanes to don this number.
We begin with a three-time National Champion (playing: ’87 and ’89, coaching: ‘01). A standout defensive tackle and defensive end, Greg Mark started 35 games in the orange and green on some of the most dominant Miami teams. As part of the 1989 National Championship team, Mark earned First-Team All-America honors with a team-high 15.5 sacks. Throughout his collegiate career, Mark tallied a whopping 253 tackles and 34.5 sacks.
His impressive play at Miami caught the eyes of the New York Giants as they selected him in the third round of the 1990 NFL Draft. Although he didn’t play in any games for the G-Men, he appeared in six games for the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins before hanging up the spikes after two years in the NFL.
Mark came back to the U as a graduate assistant in 1992. He remained at Miami through the ’94 season, and then moved to Utah State to coach the defensive line. Returning to the Hurricanes just a year later in the same capacity, Mark would hold the position until 2005. Mark was a staff member on the 2001 National Championship team. During his tenure, he developed the talent of six first-round draft choices including Warren Sapp, Kenard Lang, Kenny Homes, Damione Lewis, William Joseph and Vince Wilfork.
We go from a mentor to a mentee. William Joseph, who played under the guidance of Greg Mark, was a Hurricane since birth. Starting every game of his Canes career, Joseph totaled 200 tackles, 47 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, along with seven forced fumbles and 10 pass breakups. A member of the 2001 National Championship Team, Joseph garnered numerous accolades as a Hurricane including Second-Team TSN Freshman All-American in 1999, Third-Team All-American in 2001 and was named a member of the First-Team All-Big East in 2002.
His steady four-year collegiate career landed Joseph as the 25th overall pick by the New York Giants in the 2003 NFL Draft. After a holdout, he signed a five-year $6.95 million contract. He played the entire duration of that contract with the Big Blue earning a Super Bowl ring in 2007 as part of the Giants team who gave Tom Brady and the Patriots their only loss that season. Johnson moved onto the Oakland Raiders in 2008 and would spend two seasons there (however his productivity died down). Joseph notched 88 tackles, 7.0 sacks and seven pass deflections during his seven year NFL career.
After his playing days, Joseph had a run-in with the law. On April 30, 2012, Joseph was arrested on federal charges in connection with an alleged scheme to steal people’s identities and file false tax returns. He was sentenced to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
A promising football prospect in high school, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attended Miami and only started once for the Canes, appearing in 39 games with a total of 77 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Johnson won a National Championship with the Hurricanes in 1991 and graduated Miami in 1995. Although Johnson wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft, the defensive tackle would join the Calgary Stampedes of the Canadian Football League in 1995 before being cut two months into the season.
After football, just like many of his relatives including his father and grandfather, Johnson turned to professional wrestling. Training in ’95 and ’96, Johnson debuted in the WWF/WWE ring in 1996 and would go on to become one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Johnson claimed 17 championships during his run, including 10 as a world champion, winning the WWF/WWE Championship eight times and the WCW/World Championship twice.
The fame kept building for Johnson. While he acted on television while he was wrestling in the late 90s, Johnson’s first leading film role was in The Scorpion King in 2002. He was paid $5.5 million, a world record for an actor in his first starring role. Famously appearing in The Fast and The Furious series, Johnson has become a big face in the movie world. He has been listed in the Top 100 Most Power Celebrities along with being named one of the 100 most influential people, and “Man of the Century.”
Which 94 was the best?
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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Other (leave name in comments)